On the afternoon of May 11, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions.
Jiang Yu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have two announcements to start with.
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Horst Köhler of the Federal Republic of Germany will pay a state visit to China from May 17 to 21.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Morjane of Tunisia, Foreign Minister Hryshchenko of Ukraine, and Foreign Minister Norov of Uzbekistan, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will pay official visits to the three countries from May 17 to 22. Minister Yang will also attend the Ministers of Foreign Affairs Council Meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Uzbekistan.
Now the floor is open.
Q: Could you characterize the meeting Chinese leaders had with Kim Jong-il? Was the Cheonan incident mentioned in their discussion? The US and the ROK have said that the Six-Party Talks should not go ahead until that issue is cleared up. What is China's view?
A: About General Secretary Kim Jong-il's visit to China, competent Chinese authorities have released detailed information, which you can learn transparently from media reports. China and the DPRK enjoy the tradition of high-level exchanges. General Secretary Kim Jong-il's visit is an exchange of such kind. During the visit, leaders of the two countries had meetings and in-depth exchange of views on issues of common interest, reaching broad consensus and further deepening our traditional relations.
About the Cheonan incident, we have said on many occasions that it was a tragic incident. China has expressed condolences and consolation to the ROK side. Relevant investigation is still under way. We hope the issue could be properly handled.
On the Six-Party Talks, we believe a peaceful and stable Korean Peninsula is in the interest of all parties in Northeast Asia, thus all parties involved should continue to endeavor towards denuclearization on the Peninsula. However the situation may change, we hope relevant parties could display sincerity and flexibility and continue to work hard to create conditions for progress in the Six-Party Talks.
Q: On May 9, Palestinian chief negotiator Erekat reportedly announced the official start of indirect talks between the top leaders of Palestine and Israel under the mediation of the US. He said that Palestine would have direct talks with Israel if the latter stopped construction of Jewish settlements. What is China's stance?
A: China welcomes the start of indirect talks between Palestine and Israel. We regard this as a positive step to break the 18-month deadlock and resume the peace process. We hope the two sides could seize this opportunity, overcome difficulties and display political will so as to achieve positive results at an early date.
Q: The US side said yesterday that it was carefully reviewing China's plan to build two civilian nuclear reactors in Pakistan to see whether it respects non-proliferation commitments. How do you comment?
A: I have already taken this question several times, and I have nothing more to add. The civilian nuclear energy cooperation between China and Pakistan is for peaceful purpose, subject to IAEA supervision and consistent with the two countries' respective international obligations.
Q: Firstly, the China-US Human Rights Dialogue will be held in the US this week. Could you tell us who will be representing China and what will be discussed? Secondly, Indian media reports some recent "incursion" by Chinese military into the Indian "territory". What does China have to say in response?
A: The next round of China-US Human Rights Dialogue will be held in Washington this week. Director General Chen Xu of the International Department of Foreign Ministry will lead the Chinese delegation to the Dialogue. The two sides will exchange views on human rights achievements, multilateral cooperation on human rights and other human rights issues of common interest. We are ready to have dialogue and communication with the US side on human rights on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
Our position on the China-India boundary issue is consistent and clear. China and India are both committed to resolving the boundary issue through negotiations. The two sides have agreed that joint efforts should be made to safeguard peace and tranquility along the border pending the final settlement. China has been acting in strict accordance to this principle.
Q: What is China's stance on the sovereign debt crisis in the euro-zone? Separately, the ROK media JoongAng Daily reports that the ROK Minister of Unification summoned Chinese Ambassador Zhang Xinsen to the ROK. Are you aware of this? What did the ROK side say?
A: In his phone conversation with Spanish Prime Minister, Premier Wen Jiabao mentioned the sovereign debt crisis in Europe. Premier Wen said that the current sovereign debt crisis in some European countries had drawn wide attention, that China had taken note of the joint efforts of the euro-zone and the IMF to launch a mechanism to help Greece, and that China firmly supported the measure. He also said that he believed euro-zone countries would come out of the difficulty and realize stable economic growth.
The recent EU Finance Ministers' meeting has decided to establish a mechanism to preserve the financial stability of the EU and provide fiscal assistance to euro-zone countries in difficulty. We support the EU and its member states to take prompt and strong measures to ensure an early restoration of stability in the financial market in the EU, particularly in certain countries. China supports the IMF assistance to Greece under multilateral framework.
On the second question, China and the ROK have both made clarification last week. China and the ROK have unimpeded channel for communication. The two countries can exchange views on issues of common interest at any time.
Q: To your understanding, has there been any case of "incursion" from either side of China or India since January this year?
A: China and India share major consensus on safeguarding peace and tranquility along the border. We have been adhering to relevant principle earnestly in the past years. We stand ready to work with India to jointly safeguard border peace and stability.
Q: What impact do you see the UK election could have on China-UK relations?
A: Thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and the UK have constantly deepened over the past few years. We appreciate the positive efforts of Prime Minister Brown to develop the bilateral relations, and hope this sound development momentum could be maintained.
China values its relations with the UK. Against the background of profound changes in the international situation, stronger cooperation between China and the UK is not only in the interest of the two countries and two peoples but also conducive to world peace, stability and prosperity.
We hope the new British Government could continue to handle China-UK relations from a strategic and long-term perspective. We will work together with the UK side to further strengthen our practical cooperation in various fields and promote sound and stable development of our comprehensive strategic partnership.
Follow-up: Are you saying you'd like to see Mr. Brown remain the leader of the UK?
A: The UK election is an internal affair of the UK, and the decision of Prime Minister Brown is his personal decision. I'm not in the position to make comment on that. But I'd like to say that we appreciate the positive efforts of Prime Minister Brown to develop China-UK relations, and we are ready to continue our friendly cooperation with the UK.
Q: US Assistant Secretary of State Campbell is visiting China today. Which Chinese officials did he talk with? And what topics were covered?
A: US Assistant Secretary Campbell has a stopover visit to China today. Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai met with him this morning. They exchanged views on China-US relations.
If there are no more questions, thank you for coming. See you!